nuffnang leaderboard

Friday, June 18, 2010

On the Road to the Home of the Generals 1

Summer has always been known to be a time when we could actually crave for a change of scene and get it. Summer has always been one of the most awaited times of the year because it is during summer that people find themselves feeling less guilty to go our and have a little bit of fun in the sun. We are a month away from the end of the summer, but have you really gotten your summer’s worth of fun?

If the answer is “no”, then you definitely have to do something about it. I know it is not as easy as people make it seem; it requires a lotta cash and a lotta down time. However, when I feel like a change in routine (to change my perspective and mood) is in need, I go on a road trip to nearby cities. One of my favorite places to visit is Genera Santos City, because I think it has a lot to offer, and it has all the urban comforts I need. The next time you feel the need to maximize your Summer, gather all your fun-loving friends, pack for a night, hop on a car and head off to General Santos City. And that was exactly what I did last weekend. This was my itinerary:

1:00 pm: I left Davao with two other friends to go to General Santos City, the next destination for our night time escapades. I remembered to pack all the essentials:

a.) Alcohol and hand sanitizer (because you never know when you would need to clean your hands)

b.) Sun Block (because the Gen San heat can get a little too hot, even for a sun worshipper like me)

c.) Toilet Spray (check out Holy Seat in SM ) in case I would need to use a public toilet (gross).

d.) Snacks

e.) A CD filled with my al time favorite summer tracks (this definitely helps you get in the road trip mood)

3:00 pm: We arrived in general Santos City, and since we had brunch earlier in the day, we decided to have an earlier dinner in Saranggani Highlands. Saranggani Highlands is about 20 minutes away from down town GenSan but is soo worth the travel. Ask local for directions.

When we arrived at Saranggani Highlands we were awe-stricken by the beauty of the place. It was like a green thumb’s dream. Imagine a huge 4 hectare property that was filled with grass, bonsais, imported types of bamboo, local plants, and gorgeous foliage; plus, as if it was not breath taking enough, it had a view of the largest bay in the Philippines: Saranggani Bay. We enjoyed taking photos of the gorgeous and picking from their expansive menu that was filled with the freshest food this side of Mindanao.

We decided to order some unique sounding food stuff like their Crispy Prawns with Sesame Seeds, which looks like Camaron Rebosado but with a slightly more oriental flavor and a dusting of Sesame Seeds. We also tried their Pork Spare Ribs in Coffee Sauce, which is a Spare Rib stew in a sauce that kinda tasted like it had coconut milk and a slight hint of coffee. The Crispy hito with Mango Salsa sounded irresistible as well as it contained extra crunchy hito fillets tossed in a sweet and tangy sauce and topped with slices of green mango, onions, and bagoong. However, our favorite was the exotic appetizer: Mango-Pomelo Salad with Shrimp which was a salad of ripe mango and pomelo pieces with perfectly seasoned and sautéed shrimps drenched in a honey-mustard sauce.

We stayed there until around five p.m. to see the sun set as its rays reflected on the waves of Saranggani Bay, a truly majestic sight to behold. In my book, no trip to general Santos City would be complete without catching the sun set at Saranggani Bay, as this wonderful garden transforms into a nocturnal haven for the weary soul. My friends and I took time for ourselves as we all found little nooks in the sloping gardens of Saranggani highlands to contemplate about all we have done, and all we plan to do. At this point, we knew that this road trip was going to be unlike any other.

6:00 pm: By six pm we were ready for more gastronomic treats, even though our tummies were full, the foodies in us took over as we searched for the best pizza place in town: Mamma Maria’s Pizzeria, home of the largest pizza in the world. We could not believe that Mamma Maria’s actually served a sixty-three inch pizza that could not even fit through their door!

When we stepped inside the quaint resto we were pleasantly surprised to see murals on the walls depicting tourist attraction in Italy; these looked to good to miss out on a photo op. And even though other customers looked at us with an “are they ignorant” stare, we did not mind; probably one of the best things about not being a local.

We decided that we could not finish that huge a pizza and instead opted for the next largest one, the thirty inch pie. We chose a simple flavor, Hawaiian, because we heard that the crust was glorious all on its own; and oh, it did not disappoint. If you love thin and crunchy pizzas, Mamma Maria’s will definitely rank high on your list as their doughy creations are extra crunchy (even the ones we took back to the hotel stayed risp) even though the pizza slices were drooping from all the huge slices of ham and pineapples. Plus, it did not break the bank as the humonguous pie we ate cost less than 900 pesos. And even though we could not take anymore food, we ordered some Bolognese and Carbonora, just to have a taste of their pasta creations. The Bolognese tasted familiar, something like Mommy would make, but the Carbonara was my personal favorite. For only 89 pesos I was surprised to find huge squares of bacon and ham on top of the generous serving. Most orders of Carbonara came with super tiny bacon bits that you could not taste them anymore, but the one from Mamma Maria’s were cut large enough to give you a punch of bacony flavor. This was my version of white pasta bliss. Even if you are not a pizza lover like me, I am quite sure that you will enjoy these Italian inspired dishes from Mamma Maria’s. Some must tries include their Kinilaw Pizza, Crocodile Pizza and their boat-shaped Breakfast Pizza.

Mamma Maria’s Pizzeria is almost addicting. With the perfect ratio of sumptuous toppings, generous servings of gooey-melted cheese, and crisp yet tender dough; it is hard to find a better tasting thin crust pizza in the region.

Read the continuation of this road trip next week.

No comments: